ELC-E / LinuxCon 2015 (Dublin) Monday keynotes

Since the keynotes are usually not terribly interesting, I’m collecting all of them on a single page.

Opening Remarks – Jim Zemlin

Man vs. Machine: High Frequency Trading and the Rise of the Algorithm – Sean Gourley, Quid

Transforming for the Digital Economy with Open Technology – Stefanie Chiras, IBM

The Future of Drones & Open Source – Lorenz Meier, Dronecode Project and Tully Foote, Open Source Robotics Foundation


Opening Remarks – Jim Zemlin

Linux Foundation starts the Real Time Collaborative Project which (amongst others) will pay Thomas Gleixner to mainline the PREEMPT-RT patches.

Man vs. Machine: High Frequency Trading and the Rise of the Algorithm – Sean Gourley, Quid

The stock markets are largely governed by algorithms that automatically match supply and demand. This really goes at the speed of light, i.e. getting data from NY to London 5ms faster is already important. Due to these algorithms, the spread between asking and bidding price has dropped to almost zero in recent years. However, sometimes things happen that nobody understands why they happen.

The algorithms are fast, much faster than the human mind can make a decision (a microsecond rather than a second). But one limitation is that they can’t read the news, which is essential for understanding the market. So now people are developing algorithms that read the news (e.g. twitter) and react on it. This will actually go wrong when the news is a hoax.

In fact, 60% of the internet traffic is for algorithms to communicate rather than getting information to humans. For example, when displaying a web page, the ads included on it are auctioned real time based on your history before the page (with ad) is sent to you.

Transforming for the Digital Economy with Open Technology – Stefanie Chiras, IBM

Open commodity technology leverages consumption growth through vibrant ecosystems accelerating community participation and innovation. Amplified performance leadership transforms the foundation of cloud agendas delivering client solutions linking an open standard enterprise portfolio scaling up and out with deployment models with systems of engagement providing virtual flexibility where data is the new competitive advantage bringing a digital experience from Linux Class offerings at total cost of acquisition business partners. It runs industry standard open firmware through committed collaboration workloads for waitless computing experience.

The Future of Drones & Open Source – Lorenz Meier, Dronecode Project and Tully Foote, Open Source Robotics Foundation

Dronecode is a platform that includes everything from open hardware for motor control to flight control software. MAVLink is a low-bandwidth communication protocol. The open hardware allows others to improve on the hardware while running the same binary software.

The flight control is moving from human guided (i.e. provide waypoints) to autonomous (i.e. give a task, like explore the environment), but we’re not quite there yet. This is happening right now, the equivalent of the shift from GSM to smartphone is going to be done in a year or two. Unlike the smartphones, however, Dronecode would like to start right away with a community-supported platform rather than all the proprietary crap you see in smartphones.

Dronecode also builds cross-platform UI based on Qt5 (QGroundControl) for remote control but also development.

ROS (Robot Operating System) is not an OS (it runs on Linux and OSX), it’s a framework offering plumbing and tools that allow you to build a robot control system. It’s following the UNIX model of small specialised tools that do one thing well. The sensors and actuators are abstracted so the whole control can run on a simulator (Gazebo) seamlessly. Simulation is essential since a wrong decision can destroy the robot.

The control is represented as a dynamic graph of nodes. E.g. when debugging, a bunch of nodes is attached to it.

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